As foster children … it means a lot knowing we have someone fighting for us.
Children and Youth in Care
Karen Congram, veteran secondary teacher and Youth Support Worker for Avon Maitland, addressed the Board regarding a Ministry of Education pilot project she has been leading in Avon Maitland this year called Children and Youth in Care (CYIC).
In response to graduation rates of 46% for students in foster care and recommendations from Ontario’s ‘Youth Leaving Care Hearings‘ in 2012, the CYIC project was created. Provincial funding to launch the initiative flowed to school boards last year.
Karen now provides a valuable liaison role by facilitating communication between the school, the foster home and Huron and Perth Children’s Aid Societies. She participates in team meetings with Children’s Aid staff and Huron Perth Centre mental health counsellors and gains relevant background information to ensure each student is supported in school according to his/her specific needs.
Two student testimonial videos were shown clearly demonstrating the importance of Karen’s place in the lives of In Care students as coach, mentor and champion.
Others too had more to add as to the merits of having a Youth Support Worker (CYIC teacher) in the schools:
“[The foster parent] and I were talking today and we are both so appreciative of you, how you develop a relationship with our kids, being able to manage the school and keeping in communication with us. Knowing they have support in school has been invaluable!” – Children Service Worker
“We were able to understand what was actually going on at school and not struggling with ‘Who do we talk to for this?’ or ‘Where do we go for that?’ [The CYIC teacher] was able to get [the student] the help she needed while at school.” – Foster Parent
“As foster children, we don’t always have someone in our corner when it comes to school. It means a lot knowing we have someone fighting for us.” – Student
Art Mosaic Presentation
Metis Artist Brenda Collins (along with her mother Mirna) was on hand to formally present a gift to the Board – her mosaic work ‘The Four Races of Mankind Medicine Wheel’ (pictured above).
Brenda was born in Blind River, Ontario and now lives in London, Ontario. Her grandmother and mother are Sheshegwaning First Nation. Brenda is the five times great grand- daughter of Jean Baptiste Assiginack, the keeper and great orator of the 1764 covenant chain wampum belt.
Brenda travelled throughout Avon Maitland to 17 elementary and secondary schools guiding students in the creation of their own Medicine Wheel mosaic.
As students glue over 6500 glass mosaic tiles onto the board the meaning of the colours and the deep significance of this healing circle is discussed. Aboriginal knowledge is shared and a work of art is created.
“You will be the only school board in the area that has a student-crafted mosaic in all of its secondary schools”, stated Collins. “That’s a testament to your respect for Indigenous Peoples and your high regard for students.”
Dr. Jean Clinton
Superintendent Blair announced that Avon Maitland’s Special Education Advisory Committee will be presenting The Power of Relationships between Parents/Teacher and Child:
- Tuesday, April 19, 2016
- Anne Hathaway Public School, Stratford
- 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The evening will feature Dr. Jean Clinton, BMus MD FRCP(C) – Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry.
Dr. Clinton is on staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital with cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine, and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sick Children’s Hospital. She is also a senior scientist at the INCH (Infant Child Health) Lab at McMaster University. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for almost 30 years. Dr. Clinton was recently appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Ontario Minister of Health.
There is no cost to attend and registrations are to be submitted online: https://eforms.amdsb.ca/index.php/548974/lang-en
School Name Change
In June 2010, the Board voted to consolidate K – 8 students from Listowel Central Public School and Wallace Public School into a new school to be built in the municipality of North Perth.
In September 2014, the Board approved the construction tender, so work could proceed and in the fall of 2015, the Transition Committee was formed, with an Information Meeting held on December 16, 2015. Immediately following this meeting, notices went out to the communities where consolidation was taking place asking for public input on school names for the new school configuration, along with rationale for the recommendation(s) made. These notices were placed in the local newspaper, posted on the Board’s website and on the schools’ websites and Facebook accounts. Students in all of the schools, Listowel Central, Listowel Eastdale and Wallace conducted activities in their classes to develop suggestions and refine choices for school names, team names and team colours, with much follow-up consultation and feedback. A comprehensive list of names received through this process. Through extensive discussion and consensus, building, one name which was a combination of the two most popular names emerged, North Perth Westfield Elementary School.
From a recommendation by the Transition Committee, the Board voted to decommission the names of Listowel Central Public School, and Wallace Public School and name the newly configured elementary school in the municipality of North Perth as North Perth Westfield Elementary School, effective September 1, 2016.
Future Board Meetings
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – 5:45 p.m. Committee of the Whole – Open Session, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
- Tuesday, April 12, 2016 – 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole – Open Session, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
- Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole – Open Session if necessary, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- SAL: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – 9:00 a.m.
- Recognition and Service Awards Committee: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 – 4:00 p.m.
- Audit Committee: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 – 5:00 p.m.
- Joint Health and Safety Committee: Thursday, March 31, 2016 – 1:30 p.m.
- SEAC: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 – 4:00 p.m.